3 Strategies for Developing Effective Training, Facilitation and Presentation Skills
To address the needs of adult learners, trainers, facilitators practitioners, presenters, and adult educators should continually strive for self-improvement and develop brain-based or creative approaches to workshop design and information delivery. By doing this you can increase the possibility that learning and the transfer of knowledge will occur from the classroom to the workplace. 3 Strategies for Developing Effective Training, Facilitation and Presentation Skills by The Creative Trainer – Robert W. Lucas, Awarding Winning Author
Here are three strategies for building your training, facilitation, and presentation knowledge and skills:
Continually upgrade your facilitation skills
Each person has a natural style based on personality and ability, so your style should be unique to you and come across to learners as natural and not staged or forced. The key is to use only those methods which feel natural and do not try to mimic others.
By watching other learning and performance professionals and presenters share information and teach skills, you can identify techniques that you might incorporate into your own training programs, learning events, or presentations.
You can also improve skills by periodically attending professional development or educational programs that focus on creative training and development or effective presentation techniques.
Video/Audio taping your facilitation of events
Successful professionals frequently record their information delivery and then objectively self-evaluate their technique. You can adopt this practice as well. Additionally, ask a trusted peer or advisor to provide feedback from an “audience” perspective on what you did well, what you could have done differently, and what you might do to improve in the future. By doing these things, you can make necessary changes in style, perfect positive qualities, and work to reduce negative ones.
Solicit feedback throughout your sessions, rather than at the end
Regularly ask for learner feedback and pass out evaluations during your sessions. Request objective feedback on your facilitation, training or presentation style, program format, and content from session participants and qualified peers and professionals.
Instead of doing as many trainers, facilitators, presenters and educators do and wait until the end of a session or series of programs to pass out an evaluation, consider giving them at the beginning of a session. Ask learners to jot down thoughts on what works and does not work throughout the session and at the end of the program have them mark the numeric rating scales on the forms. This approach more often results in objective feedback as people remember it and is likely to result in ideas and suggestions that will allow you to make appropriate changes before repeating the content for another group.
In addition to using a formal evaluation form, consider conducting mini interim reviews throughout your sessions. Make these reviews novel and fun and conduct them periodically during a program.
In addition to requesting feedback on what people have learned to that point in the session, ask what you might do differently or change to make the content and delivery format more meaningful or valuable for participants.
Strategies for Developing Effective Training, Facilitation and Presentation Skills
The following is one example of an interim review:
- Before leaving for a break, you might have participants jot down on a piece of paper one thing that they have learned to that point in the session. They then flip the paper over and write one thing they would change in the delivery format if they were facilitating the session.
- Have them leave the papers in a pile in the center of their table.
- While they are out of the room, collect and read the comments.
- Make necessary adjustments to your content and delivery as you move forward in the session.
Doing this type of review will let you know if learners are getting the key concepts you intended for them to gain and what you might change in the session to make it more effective as continue.
The value of this review approach is that you identify key information that you need to review or reinforce if numerous people seem to have missed it. You can also make the program more effective with changes so that the current group benefits from the modification. If you wait until an end of training session evaluation to gather needed changes, future groups might benefit from the suggestions, but the current group will be gone and will not gain maximum value.
Like other life skills, training, facilitating, and presenting are learned and perfected with much practice and effort. By regularly using your knowledge and skills and then soliciting and acting on valid performance feedback, you are likely to improve.
For more ideas on typing brain-based learning strategies into your learning events, get a copy of The Creative Training Idea Book: Inspired Tips and Techniques for Engaging and Effective Learning.